As many of you know, I have been struggling with thinning hair for the past several years. I first posted on the topic here then followed up with a summary of recommendations from readers. Some of those supplements and treatments work well for a lot of people, but for me any difference in my hair’s appearance was insignificant. Not seeing the desired change has motivated me to take a more drastic step and try PRP therapy.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments have shown promise in the field of hair restoration. The procedure involves drawing one’s blood, then spinning it to separate the platelets creating a concentrate of platelet-rich plasma protein. The concentrate is injected into targeted areas on the scalp. The growth of both collagen and hair follicles are stimulated by the naturally occurring growth factors and potentially produce thicker hair. Results vary and there is no guarantee.
The dermatologist I chose recommends a series of four treatments spaced four weeks apart to start. I went for my first treatment (after initial consultation) last week with great anxiety. The appointment began with taking high definition magnified pictures (TrichoScan) of my scalp and hair which will be repeated at the end of the series to measure results. After my blood was drawn, it was placed into a centrifuge – a machine that spins the blood at high speeds to separate the red blood cells and concentrated platelets. The platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from the concentrate is then ready to be used in the treatment process of about twelve injections in the scalp. They were painful but manageable. The whole office visit lasted about an hour and was not nearly as bad as I anticipated.
The protocol at my doctor’s office combines PRP therapy with the Nutrafol supplement. They endorse Nutrafol over other supplements because it is a “nutraceutical with standardized dosing and potency with bio-available ingredients that have clinical data supporting its usage to reduce the inflammation found in hair loss. Other supplements on the market may be regulated by the FDA but are not subjected to the same standards and requirements as nutraceuticals.”
One of the terms that continually comes up in my research about thinning hair is inflammation. I decided to minimize any element that puts stress physically on the scalp. I want to provide the healthiest environment possible for maximum results from the PRP so, in addition to putting a pause on tight ponytails, I cut a few inches to make it easier to manage. I’ll try to air dry and use as few products as possible.
One last note. As PRP increases in popularity, treatments are becoming readily available in esthetician offices as well. With blood drawn and injected, I wanted the medically supervised environment found in a doctor’s office for comfort and peace of mind. In addition, if venturing into PRP, be aware that spinning (single or double), machines/devices, and injection methods vary. I’ll follow up on my progress moving forward.
If you’ve tried PRP, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
Source: photo: Josefina Andres